MILAN - Gennaro Gattuso finally had fans
talking about his talent rather than his temper after his rare
goal gave AC Milan a 1-0 win at beleaguered Juventus and
stretched their Serie A lead to eight points on Saturday.
The combative midfielder netted his first goal in three
league seasons and only his eighth goal in 12 Serie A campaigns
with Milan when his shot surprised Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi
Buffon midway through the second half.
Gattuso starts a five-match European ban when Milan visit
Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday
following his headbutt on Spurs assistant boss Joe Jordan in the
first leg which the Rossoneri lost 1-0.
"There's still a long way to go but my goal is an important
one," the 33-year-old told Sky television as Milan eye their
first league title since 2004.
"Sometimes the coach has to interrupt training because there
is too much competitiveness. Every time there has been this sort
of atmosphere at the Milanello training ground we have won the
Milan deserved their victory with Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasting
a good early chance while Juve were rarely a threat.
Juve's third defeat in a row leaves coach Luigi Del Neri
under huge pressure after a season which was meant to spark a
revival for Italy's best supported and most successful domestic
club after last term's seventh-placed finish.
Some media reports said before the game that the coach would
be sacked if they lost against their arch-rivals and remained in
seventh. Club officials had just given vague backing.
Angry home fans unveiled a banner at halftime in Turin
including a phrase often uttered by former striking great
"At Juventus winning is not important. It's the only thing
Del Neri, who left out Alessandro Del Piero and Italy centre
back Leonardo Bonucci, hinted his expensive group of players are
just not good enough compared to Juve sides of the past with the
club still recovering from a 2006 match-fixing demotion.
"At the moment our quality is a lot more inferior to Milan,"
he said. "We must try to play better. If as individuals we are
lacking then you need to compensate as a group."
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